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April 16, 1976 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-04-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

6 April 16, 1976

Communists, Pro-PLO Nationalists Win
West Bank Seats, Pose Threat to Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) —
Pro-Palestine Liberation
Organization nationalists
and Communists scored ov-
erwhelming victories in
most major West Bank
towns in Monday's munici-
pal elections, the first since
1972. About 63,000 regis-
tered voters cast ballots —
22,000 of them women who
were allowed to vote for the
first time. The participation
of 72.3 percent of the eligi-
ble voters is considered
high.
Although only local town
council seats were at stake,
the results seem to have far-
reaching implications for
both Israel and Jordan. The
voters rejected traditional-
ist leaders, most of them
from wealthy families, who
have close ties with the
Hashemite kingdom and
have generally cooperated
with Israeli authorities.
They selected instead a
younger generation of pro-
fessionals, academicians
and intellectuals, some of
them radicals and some rel-
ative moderates, but all
with strong Palestinian na-
tionalist sentiments.
The nationalist bloc won
all 10 seats in Hebron's
town council, swamping

the moderate slate sup-
ported by former Mayor
Mohammed Ali El-Jabaari
who declined to stand for
re-election.
First place in Hebron
went to Phahed Kuassma, a
moderate nationalist. The
runner-up was Dr. Awani
Zayer, regarded as a leftist
radical, who is expected to
contest the appointment of
Kuassma as mayor.
Nationalists won eight
out of the 10 council seats in
Nablus, the largest town on
the West Bank. First place
went to Bassem Asha Ka, a
radical leftist, and second
was won by Dr. Hatem Abu
Gazalla, a PLO supporter
who has a record of arrests

for nationalist activities.
Communist candidates
won a majority of the seats
in Jericho. Incumbent
Mayor Shafik Balu, a mod-
erate close to the Jordanian
court, took third place.
Communists or PLO-sup-
porters won substantial
majorities in Tulkarem,
Ramallah, El-Bireh and
Beit Jallah.
The nationalists failed,
however, in Behtelhem
where they took only two
seats on the town council.
The incumbent mayor, a
traditionalist, is assured
of re-election. In Jenin as
well, Mayor Ahmed Carnal
A-Sadi scored a victory.
The communists failed to

win a single seat.
The heavy turn-out of vot-
ers was all the more impres-
sive inasmuch as heavy
rains swept most of the
West . Bank Monday. The
high proprtion of women
voters was seen as a strong
break with tradition and a
revolt against male conserv-
atism which prevailed only
in a few of the smaller
towns.

In Kabatya in the Sa-
maria region, the local men,
supported by Mayor Mu-
hammed Khalil Hamadan,
prevented women from vot-
ing by refusing to register
them on grounds that elec-
tions were not "women's

business." The local women
did not protest that deci-
sion.
But in Tubas, about 15
miles away, women not only
voted but one was a candi-
date, Mrs. Rabae Eh-Zou-
ahi, head of the local_ wel-
fare association. There were
four women candidates
among the 538 seeking 205
seats.
Campaigning on the
West Bank was intense
and supporters of different
candidates pursued the
voters right up to the doors
of the polling station,
handing out cards listing
their slates and blaring
slogans from loudspeak-
ers.

Progressives Create Israel Socialist Organization

NEW YORK (JTA) — The in the Jewish community, tion to the "capitalist trend,
formation of the Socialist are aware of the Socialist the denial of civil liberties,
Zionist Union (SZU) was an- Zionist position on peace and the second-class status
nounced here by representa- in the Middle East," the of Eastern Jews, Israeli
tives of various progressive SZU spokesman said. Arabs and women."
Zionist organizations and
The SZU platform also
This position is that
individuals after a weekend peace can only come about views American Jewry as
through mutual recogni- "dominated by a small elite
conference.
The purpose of the new tion of the right of the Is- . . . unaccountable to the
organization, a spokesman raelis and. Palestinians to community." This elite, it
said, is to present a unified self-determination and the continues, "claims to repre-
Socialist Zionist voice and establishment of a Palesti- sent American Jewry and
view in the United States nian state alongside Is- makes decisions on policy
and most particularly, in rael."
and disbursement of the
the American Jewish com-
The platform also states Jewish people's money with-
munity.
that "A socialist Israel is the out being responsible or re-
Organizers
of
the
group
highest
expression of the sponsive to the needs of
, \
X
include members of na- age-old Jewish commitment American Jews."
X
tional Zionist youth move- to a just society" and that
The SZU, the spokes-
THE LOST ART x ments, Habonirn, Hamag- the "trend toward capital- man added, is committed
shimim and Hashomer ism in Israel has widened to the democratization of
X' OF TAILORING
Hatzair; representatives of the gap between rich and the American Jewish com-
X Where? At Steve Petix, the
local groups, among them poor and has wrenched Is- munity and to a changing
home of the immaculate
the Radical Jewish Union in rael away from its socialist of priorities to meet the
fit in custom, tailored-to-
measure or quality brand X
Berkeley, Calif.; and indi- goals." It calls for opposi- needs of Jews. The organi-
clOthing.
viduals in New York, Bos-
bt ,./
Open 9-6 daily e \
ton, Madison (Wis.), and
(to 5:30 Sat.)

9-9 Thurs. & Fri. "N , Pittsburgh. Many of them,
Z
Ample parking 1,‹
the spokesman said, were
Credit cards
)<
accepted
formerly involved in Social-
TEL AVIV — The 25th wry" is scheduled for publi-
ist Zionist organizations in
31455 SOUTHFIELD ROAD / 645.5560 >(
Between 13 & 4 Mile
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WHERE PEOPLE STILL COME FIRST
compendium be an expres-
sion of Jewish identity and
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The anniversary edition
will reflect changes in the
Jewish world, and for the
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Jews in Russia.

zation also terms aliya "a
prerequisite for participa-
tion in building a socialist
society in Israel and is a
priority for Socialist Zion-
ists."

xxxxxxxx>o<xxx
x FOUND IN ,x ,
DETROIT

'Who's Who in World Jewry'
Special Edition to Be Printed

The SZU, the spokesman
said, plans to cooperate with
progressive and leftist
forces in Israel such as
Moked, the Independent
Socialists and the Feminist
Movement of Israel "to build
a strong Socialist Zionist
movement and to generate
an educated and informed
aliya from America corn-
mitted to progressive goals."

Despite an official ban on
political debates, candidates
raised nationalist issues,
but the voting was remarka-
bly orderly, in sharp con-
trast to the violent disturb-
ances that swept the West
Bank only last month.
Order was maintained by
Arab policemen. All Israeli
security forces were eva-
cuated from the West Bank
on election eve. But D-
Minister Shimon Pei. aid
a surprise visit to polling
stations in Ramallah and
Bethlehem and was ap-
plauded by young voters.
mainly women, entering
and leaving the voting
booths.
They apparently realized
that they had gained the
v ote only by Israel's amend-
ment of Jordanian law that
limited the franchise to
male property owners. In all
other aspects, the elections
were conducted according to
Jordanian law.

-

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